April 16, Texas Lottery Commission P.O. Box Austin, TX Dear Commissioners:

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1 April 16, 2014 Texas Lottery Commission P.O. Box Austin, TX Dear Commissioners: We urge you to reject proposals that would allow the outcome of pull- tab bingo games to have electronic, video, or digital representation. Adopting rules that incorporate such proposals would allow electronic screens that could look and operate in a way that is very similar to slot machines to exist in bingo halls in Texas. This would likely contravene Article III, Section 47(b) of the Texas Constitution, which gives the Legislature the ultimate authority to determine which types of lottery games are prohibited in the State of Texas. The Constitution makes no provision for the adoption of rules permitting electronic or digital representation of the outcome of pull- tab games or for the electronic or digital promotion of such games in bingo halls. Article III, Section 47(a) makes clear that: The Legislature shall pass laws prohibiting lotteries and gift enterprises in this State other than those authorized by Subsections (b), (d), and (e) of this section. [Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 47(a)] For its part, the Legislature, in Section of the Occupations Code, describes permissible pull- tab games as follows: (24) Pull- tab bingo means a form of bingo played using tickets with perforated break- open tabs, made of paper or paper products, the face of which is covered or otherwise hidden from view to conceal numbers, letters, or symbols, some of which have been designated in advance as prize winners. The term includes games commonly known as instant bingo and break- open bingo. [Occupations Code, Section (24)] 1

2 The only statutory provision allowing electronic devices to be used in conjunction with pull- tab games relates to the method by which pull- tab bingo tickets are dispensed: (25) Pull- tab dispenser means an electronic or mechanical device that dispenses a pull- tab bingo ticket after a person inserts money into the device and includes a device commonly known as a ticket dispenser. [Occupations Code, Section (25)] It is clear from these definitions that the Legislature has made no provision for the adoption of rules that would permit electronic or digital pull- tab games, the electronic or digital promotion of such games, or the electronic or digital representation of the outcome of such games. Aside from these constitutional and statutory objections, it is apparent that digital representation of the outcome of pull- tab games undermines the social interaction function that bingo games have been found to fulfill in Texas. In an April 2007 opinion, the Texas Attorney General specifically noted that: A 1980 report by the House Study Group on the proposed bingo amendment describes bingo as involving social interaction. Bingo is a social function. It brings people together who want to be together. Its social nature is one of the ways it differs from games like roulette or slot machines. The Attorney General s opinion goes on to assert that: This [social interaction] aspect of bingo indicates that the game of bingo was understood to be the game of bingo described in Amvets, and not a game played electronically. The social interaction present in traditional bingo is diminished, if not eliminated, in a game played by an individual on a computer monitor. Although it may be possible to attempt to draw a distinction between playing a game of bingo electronically and playing a game of bingo that displays its outcome electronically; neither are permitted by the Constitution or by existing statute, and have been rejected by the Attorney General. In closing the opinion, the Attorney General explicitly held that: The constitutional authorization for charitable bingo does not include electronic pull- tab bingo. 2

3 Texas Conservative Coalition members first raised these concerns in 2007 when the Commission considered a similar proposal, and these same constitutional and statutory concerns remain applicable in light of the current proposal. We strongly urge you to reject the adoption of rules permitting the electronic, video, or digital display of the outcome of pull- tab bingo games or the electronic or digital promotion of such games for the reasons outlined above. We believe that the legal basis against such rules is sound and that the Texas Lottery Commission should not adopt rules that would be so patently unconstitutional and so clearly contrary to the collective will of the Legislature and opinions rendered by the Attorney General. Thank you. Sincerely, Senator Brian Birdwell Representative Charles Doc Anderson Senator Bob Deuell Representative Trent Ashby Senator Kelly Hancock Representative Dennis Bonnen Senator Jane Nelson Representative Greg Bonnen Senator Ken Paxton Representative Cindy Burkett Senator Larry Taylor Representative Giovanni Capriglione 3

4 Representative Brandon Creighton Representative Allen Fletcher Representative Dan Flynn Representative James Frank Representative Craig Goldman Representative Lance Gooden Representative Linda Harper- Brown Representative Jason Isaac Representative Phil King! Representative Stephanie Klick Representative Matt Krause Representative Jeff Leach Representative Rick Miller Representative Jim Murphy Representative Tan Parker Representative Charles Perry TCC! P.O. Box 2659, Austin TX 78768! ! txcc.org 4 State

5 Representative Larry Phillips Representative Drew Springer Representative Scott Sanford Representative Van Taylor Representative Ralph Sheffield Representative Ed Thompson Representative John Smithee Representative James White 5

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